Why use OKRs?
IT departments are mostly inward facing. That is, they focus on optimizing internal processes to ensure that employees are able to do their best work while keep customer data safe and secure.
OKRs can help set a clear direction every quarter to focus on specific parts of the organization, or to improve certain processes.
Are we happy with general safety and security protocols?
Are requests handled in a timely manner?
Are employees generally happy with their work environment?
Do we need to review the IT budget?
Examples of Information Technology OKRs
You'll find below some OKRs examples to take inspiration from. Your OKRs should move from quarter to quarter and map to your company's reality – use our examples as a starting point, and adapt to what's happening in your business.
OKRs to increase security awareness
Make security part of our culture
100% of employees have gone through security training
2FA is used on all 3rd party services used by employees
Roll out fleet management pilot to 30% of the company
OKRs to improve the Disaster Recovery process
Have a world class DR process
Reduce recovery period from 24h to 12h
Reduce recovery point objective from 12 business hours to 4 business hours
Increase the number of DR tests from 1 to 3 per quarter
OKRs to improve incident management
Build an amazing incident management process
Increase the size of the incident response team from 2 to 6 people
Reduce the MTTR from 3h to 60 minutes
Reduce the number of regressions by 60%
OKRs to accelerate dev speed
Support developers by improving dev speed
Reduce average build time from 20mins to 2mins
90% of products have a standardized Continous Delivery pipeline
Reduce release cycle from 12 days to 3 days
Tracking your OKRs
Knowing how to write good OKRs is critical, but without good tracking in place, the OKRs will fade away and focus will be lost.
It's not just us saying that:
- Peter Kappus writes that "check-ins are the most important part of OKRs".
- Felipe Castro cautions people not to let their OKRs turn into New Year's resolutions.
- Christina Wodtke tells us that "cadence is probably the single most important thing".
The easier it is for a team to have weekly discussions around the OKRs, the better they'll execute. Here are a few best practices for tracking OKRs.
1. Do weekly check-ins
Quarterly OKRs should be tracked every week to be effective. Without a continuous reflection on progress, your OKRs won't be much different from having KPIs.
The check-ins process can be automated with a platform like Tability that takes care of reminders, and distribute updates to the teams.
2. Keep track of your confidence
Good progress updates should help everyone understand how far we are from our goal, but also how confident we are in achieving it. You can use a simple red/yellow/green color coding to indicate your confidence.
3. Make trends easy to see
Lastly, it's important to look at trends to avoid false positives. It's not rare for a team to have a hot start and then slow down mid quarter. This will be hard to see unless you can look at progress trends for individual Key Results.
What other IT metrics can you use?
Now that you've got good Objectives, it's time to pick some key results and finding good metrics that work for your team can be tricky. Lucky for you, we've laid out all the best success metrics for your teams to use.
Here are a few to get you started:
Apdex is an open standard for measuring performance of software applications.
Percentage of time when your service was running.
Mean Time between System Failures
Mean Time to Resolution
Asset maintenance cost
How much do you need to spend to maintain company assets.
Infrastructure expense per employee
How much do you spend on infrastructure per employee?
Training Expenses per Employee
How much is spent on personal development and training per Employee.
Stop wasting your OKRs. Focus on the right work and accomplish your goals.